Something I noticed about Neelix and Kes relationship.

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by HelenofBorg, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. HelenofBorg

    HelenofBorg Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Okay, the first time I watched Voyager, I never noticed this so much, I was only a teenager when I watched it and never really questioned what I saw. But I actually now I rethink it, that relationship was pretty unhealthy, and I do not mean the obvious age gap (Kes was an adult by her own culture, a young woman, and Neelix appears to be approaching middle age if I am reading his character correctly.)

    What is now bugging me is his extreme Jealousy and possessiveness, to the point of brawling with Tom Paris in the galley because he looks at her and gives her shuttle flying lessons in the holodeck. That isn't normal or healthy. What bugs me most is not that this happened, but that none of the other characters pulled him up about this behaviour. If I saw a friend whose boyfriend was acting like that, I'd be advising her to dump him!

    In general I like Neelix as a character, but this is a pretty big flaw I didn't notice until a friend pointed it out, and now I can't stop seeing it.
     
  2. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Kes talked to him about his behavior and jealousy. It was something Neelix learned to get past
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But Tom was trying to steal Kes away from Neelix.

    At the very least, Neelix should have been spitting in Tom's food.
     
  4. Bah Humbug

    Bah Humbug Admiral Admiral

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    He already made Tom eat leola root in everything. Isn't that enough?
     
  5. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And Alfarian hair pasta, made from the follicles of the mature Alfarian, harvested during shedding season in early fall... very high in protein.
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Besides if Neelix was to round up the other 30 women on Voyager that Tom had slept with and cast off, to make a formal complaint about Tom's Tomcatting (Janeway and Paris' couple name: Tomkat.), Tom might have been keel hauled, or chemically castrated.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I thought she broke up with him? In "Warlord" while under alien influence but they never got back together afterward?
     
  8. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I can't believe the level of cultural insensitivity in this thread. Displaying open jealousy and hostility to potential sexual rivals is very important in Talaxian culture.
     
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  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which is why he thrashed Harry to get that Klingon broad.
     
  10. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The jealousy stuff happened in early season 2
     
  11. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    He just got better at hiding it.
     
  12. Finngle Bells

    Finngle Bells Admiral Admiral

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    Oh please. Neelix never did anything beyond fuming time to time plus that spat with Tom. I was always under the impression he saw lot of himself in Tom. I don't think it was happening all the time. We only see few fleeting moments out of their full days.
     
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  13. HelenofBorg

    HelenofBorg Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I don't remember watching any episode to that effect... did I miss one?
     
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  14. Sakonna

    Sakonna Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Neelix & Kes really might be Trek's worst ongoing couple, though I enjoy both characters individually.

    But eesh, that was a mess of a "triangle." It damaged every character involved. Neelix looked pathetically insecure and controlling, to a point that practically felt like the red flag of a potential abuser. Kes looked like a sad doormat for putting up with it. And Paris looked trashy and gross for going after this woman who was not available.

    I was so relieved when they finally put it to rest and moved past it... right into an even worse arc, "Insubordinate Paris!/Kazon Spy!" But, such was early Voyager...
     
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  15. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ...it was like...one episode

    Edit: Maybe 2. I would be jealous too if some guy gave my gf a gold heart necklace. What was he thinking?!
     
  16. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In Twisted, Neelix was fuming over Kes knowing where a random hot guy lived as well.

    So, that's two.
     
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  17. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's only natural for him to be insecure. She's far out of his league, and now amongst people that look like her.
     
  18. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree that Neelix acted badly in his relation to Kes due to his jealousy and over-protection of her. he was so axious that Kes should leave him, therefore his attitude which sadly enough made her leave him.

    His whole behavior was actually a result of a terrible trauma in which he lost his whole family. To cope with that horrible experience, he took on his duty to help, to cheer people up and to be as useful as possible for the Voyager crew.

    He was overdoing a lot of things which gave the opposite result of what he wanted and he screwed up his relationship with Kes. But that was also a result of the trauma which affected him deeply. He was a very complex person.

    If Voyager had had a counselor, that person would have had to spend a lot of time with Neelix because the poor guy really did have some "issues".

    Neelix desperately tried to "fit in". Obviously he did know deep down inside that his skills were limited so he tried to compensate for that with a lot of ideas and whims, like his self-made role as "Morale Officer", how he became almost obsessed with the idea of being an "investigating journalist", the Talaxian resort he created at the holodek (which Harry and Tom totally changed) and his bragging about his skills as guide while his knowledge about the Delta Quadrant was limited. That was also one of the reasons why he and Kes started to drift apart as soon as they came on board Voyager.

    Kes found a purpose for her life on the ship. A new reality, new people, the Hydroponics Bay, her work in sickbay and an ardent will to learn and explore.

    Neelix on the other hand found his skills rather limited and therefore did all he could to get attention, like "look at me, see what I can accomplish. His jealousy over Kes probably had something to do about being jealous of how good Kes did adapt to the new life and become an useful member of the crew while he did find himself limited. Not to mention that his control over Kes started to vanish as soon as they joined the Voyager crew.

    I also think thyt he still had bad memories about what happened to his family so in an attempt to keep those feelings away he tried to be positive, cheerful and tried to cheer up everyone on the ship, like "I want happiness around me so smile!".

    Of corse he over-did almost everything he was involved in. His pestering of Tuvok was actually horrible and annoying (but fun to watch) and I can understand Tuvok's frustration over those current attacks from Neelix. But his intentions were good.

    So I can't help feeling a lot of sympathy for the furry guy, despite his sometimes annoying behavior.
     
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  19. Riker'sMailbox

    Riker'sMailbox Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Neelix became a much better character once Kes left. He was possessive, jealous, and mansplained everything to her.
     
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  20. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even though Neelix struggles with Jealousy, some of it is coming from a good place. He wants to protect her from people like Tom who he feels would take advantage of Kes. And we learn in Elogium that he is not sleeping with her. He genuinely cares for her, and would risk his life to protect her.

    From "Elogium"
    NEELIX: Oh, no occasion. I just wanted to apologise.
    KES: Apologise?
    NEELIX: For the way I acted in the Mess hall. I was jealous.
    KES: I know. I just wish you could trust me.
    NEELIX: It has nothing to do with trusting you. It's him I don't trust. I've seen his kind before. They're all over the quadrant, as a matter of fact. They prey on naive, sheltered young women like you.

    He also seeks advice on how to deal with his feelings-

    From "Twisted"
    NEELIX: Commander, I would imagine you've had some experience with women.
    CHAKOTAY: Some.
    NEELIX: Oh, come now. Ha! A handsome man like you. I bet women find you irresistible.
    CHAKOTAY: Neelix, what's this about?
    NEELIX: Er, er, er, have you, er, but have you ever been jealous?
    CHAKOTAY: Of course.
    NEELIX: You have?
    CHAKOTAY: I imagine most people who've been in love have been jealous at one time or another.
    NEELIX: I see. It's a perfectly normal response. Then why, why is it so unpleasant?
    CHAKOTAY: Jealousy's about the fear of losing someone we love. There's no pain greater than that. Neelix, are you afraid you're going to lose Kes to someone?
    NEELIX: No. I mean, I don't think so. At least I certainly hope not. I just can't seem to stop these awful feelings.
    CHAKOTAY: Nothing makes us more vulnerable than when we love someone. We can be hurt very easily. But I've always believed that what you get when you love someone is greater than what you risk.

    Neelix is a very emotive person. He doesn't hide his feelings. So where some other person might keep their feelings of vulnerability, worry, and jealousy hidden from their lover, that just isn't Neelix. He wears his heart on his sleeve(of his very hideously colored shirt). If we take this stuff about Neelix in context, and give him a fair chance, we see that these a very genuine and honest character development moments.

    Conversely, with Tom Paris. Neelix has very good reasons for wanting to protect Kes from Tom Paris. He has a bad reputation aboard the ship, that Neelix has gotten wind of. He doesn't quite trust Paris.

    But even Paris has a sympathetic angle here. He can't help that he's developed feelings of infatuation for Kes. He laments about it to Kim, but he knows he can't act on them, which he admits to Neelix.

    From "Parturition"
    PARIS: Oh, Harry. I'm in trouble.
    KIM: What's new?
    PARIS: I think I'm in love.
    KIM: What's new?
    PARIS: With Kes.
    KIM: Kes!
    PARIS: I know. I know. I never even saw it coming. I thought we were just good buddies. But there she was in my arms.
    KIM: In your arms? Paris, you didn't.
    PARIS: What? Oh, no. I didn't. I wouldn't. She stumbled during a flight simulation. I caught her. I held her for an instant. Are you going to play or not?
    (Kim does a few notes.)
    PARIS: A whole crew full of women and I have to fall for the one I can't have. Why do I do this to my self?
    KIM: If you ask me, I say you enjoy it.
    PARIS: Enjoy it?
    KIM: Only thing that makes sense. You've been doing the same thing to yourself your whole life. Setting yourself up for rejection. You must enjoy playing the part.
    PARIS: Hey, don't knock it if you haven't tried it. I just have to be more careful. I can't let myself be alone with her.
    KIM: There's an old Chinese expression. Stay out of harm's way.
    PARIS: That's not a Chinese expression.

    And

    PARIS: I, well, I guess the only way to say it is to say it. I am attracted to Kes.
    NEELIX: Oh?
    PARIS: To be honest, if you weren't around, I'd be knocking at her door. But I respect you, Neelix. And that's that. Everything you heard those guys saying about me, well, it was true. But it's not who I am anymore. At least not who I want to be. This upside down mission to the wrong side of the galaxy has given me a second chance, and I don't intend to blow it.
    NEELIX: I see. Well, in a way I can't say I blame you. She is very attractive.
    PARIS: She's devoted to you, you know.
    NEELIX: Well, I did save her life. I'm sure she's grateful.
    PARIS: Oh, she's a lot more than grateful. She loves you, Neelix. I wouldn't stand a chance. Nobody would.
    NEELIX: There are others?
    PARIS: If you ever doubt yourself, just look into her eyes. See the way she looks at you. You'll never doubt yourself again. And as far as I'm concerned, I'll just be her friend. I mean, if you don't mind.
    NEELIX: I don't pick Kes's friends for her. Just my own.


    More context, and here the situation is resolved. It's ironically Paris who really builds Neelix's confidence back up. And we see through his interactions, like this or the one with Chakotay, that he is not in any way remotely abusive, or potentially abusive. He's a warm caring guy who is both worried about Kes being abused by others, and feeling insecure by how beautiful she is compared to him. This is actually good honest stuff by Trek standards, concerning what might happen with relationships on a small ship where everyone is stuck together.

    If anyone is interested in going back to see it in context, the episodes that deal with this are Elogium(during the cold open), Twisted, and Parturition, in that order.

    Elogium and Twisted are actually 2 of the 3 final episodes of season 1(season 1 finale was supposed to be "The 37's", and Parturition was supposed to be the third episode of season 2.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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